A Prime Card for a Frequent Traveler
Even with an annual fee of $195, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express has very few drawbacks. In fact, this card is all about benefits, benefits, benefits, especially for travelers! It’s simple to earn points on qualifying purchases with the card. Then there are thousands of rewards you can earn with your points.
Kick off your earnings by spending a least $2,000 within the first three months to earn a bonus of 25,000 points. With this card, you earn triple points per dollar spent for flights booked directly through an airline. Then you earn double points on purchases at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations in the United States. You can also earn double Membership Rewards® points on travel purchases made through the American Express Travel website. Everything else earns one point per dollar. These categories mean that the card does not limit earnings to travel expenses. Your everyday purchases like groceries and gas will earn you points.
Once you’ve earned enough points, you can begin redeeming them for rewards. These include gift cards, merchandise, entertainment or travel purchases. You can also use your points for statement credit, like cash back. American Express Travel accepts points as a form of payment, and could get you pretty good travel deals. If you’re looking to treat yourself (and earn at the same time), check out Amex’s Hotel Collection. When you book at least two nights in a row at participating properties, you can earn double Membership Rewards® points per eligible dollar spent. Plus, you can receive a $75 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities.
To further your benefits, you could also transfer your points to partner travel programs like Delta SkyMiles®. So if you already have a DeltaSkyMiles® membership or a similar membership with another partner company, the points you earn through your Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express could maximize your rewards through those memberships.
As an ideal card for frequent travelers, the card does not come with a foreign transaction fee. Furthermore, American Express also provides cardholders with a number of great, travel-specific benefits. Cardholders receive a $100 airline fee credit per calendar year to cover baggage fees at one airline of your choice. Amex also provides a baggage insurance plan to protect your luggage when lost, damaged or stolen. Once you’re traveling, American Express offers the Global Assist® Hotline when you’re 100 miles or more away from home. This gives you access to medical, legal and financial assistance among other things, providing you with a lot more resources and assurance. The card will also provide 24/7 premium roadside assistance as well as insurance for car rental loss and damage.
We weren’t kidding when we said this card comes with many benefits! If you’re a frequent traveler, this could be the card for you. Just be sure to remember that it does come with an annual fee of $195, although it is an introductory rate of $0 for the first year. Your balance must be always paid in full each month, too, unless you qualify for American Express’ Pay Over Time features. Paying in full each month means that there are no interest charges. If you are interested in learning more about the Pay Over Time feature, you must call the number on the back of your American Express card.
Easily earned points - You can earn a three points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly from an airline with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Then, you can earn double the points on your everyday purchases like at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations in the United States.
25,000-point sign-up bonus - If you spend $2,000 on the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express within the first three months of opening, you can earn 25,000 points.
No interest charges - Since the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is a charge card, all payments must be made in full. This means no interest charges like an APR on purchases or balance transfers.
$100 airline fee credit - Cardholders receive up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
No foreign transaction fees - Furthering its benefits for travelers, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express does not charge a fee for foreign transactions
The Hotel Collection - When you book at least two nights in a row at participating properties, you can earn double Membership Rewards® points per eligible dollar spent. Plus, you can receive a $75 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities.
Extended warranties - When you use the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express for eligible purchases that come with a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less, Amex will add up to one additional year to the warranty.
Purchase refunds - If a merchant won’t take back a purchase you made on the card within 90 days of the original purchase, American Express may refund the full purchase price. This excludes shipping and handling, limits up to $300 per item and up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card.
Complimentary ShopRunner membership - With your card, you can receive a complimentary ShopRunner membership that can provide you with free 2-day shipping on eligible items from over 140 online stores.
Who it Benefits
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express would largely benefit frequent travelers. As with many rewards credit cards, though, you will need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for this card. People who are more disciplined with their money would also probably benefit most with this card. These people will be able to not only pay an annual fee, but the balance in full each month as well.
If you are a frequent traveler, you could really benefit from this card especially by making your airfare purchases directly from the airlines. This will earn you triple the points. Or, you could check out Amex’s Travel portal, where your purchases will earn double the points. The benefits keep on giving with features like no foreign transaction fee, a Global Assist® Hotline, car rental protection and roadside assistance. That way you’re never stranded when traveling.
Don’t forget that the card comes with a $195 annual fee after the first year introductory rate of $0 for the first year. If you can’t justify paying that fee for the card and its benefits, then don’t get it. However, the savings you could get from the card might offset the fee anyways.
How It Works
Earning points on the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is pretty straightforward. You earn three points per dollar spent on airfare bought directly from an airline. You earn double points on each dollar spent at gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants in the U.S. Then you earn one point per dollar on everything else. Additionally, if you spend $2,000 on the card within the first three months of opening, you can earn 25,000 bonus points.
The Premier Rewards Gold card qualifies for Amex’s Membership Rewards® Program. With this program, you are able to redeem your earned points for rewards for travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment. You can also transfer your points to partner frequent traveler programs. You may also redeem your points for statement credit, like cash back, but the return on this transaction is very slight compared to the rewards you could get.
Glancing at this card’s information might cause some confusion, since there are few rates to be found. This is because the card is an Amex charge card. With a charge card, you must always pay your bill in full and on time. However, if you become eligible, you may be able to use Amex’s Pay Over Time Feature. This allows you to extend payment over time on certain charges. Should you use this feature, then interest will become a factor in your account and payments.
What's the Catch
The catch of the Premier Rewards Gold Card is that it is a charge card. This requires you to always pay your balance in full and on time.
You can only avoid this requirement by qualifying for Amex’s Pay Over Time features. With Pay Over Time, you don’t have to pay in full every time. Rather you can extend your payment over time on certain charges. This charges will then be subject to interest charges. If you are interested in learning more about the Pay Over Time feature, you must call the number on the back of your American Express card.
Just the Math Please – Rewards
You earn three points per dollar spent on airfare bought directly from an airline. You earn double points on each dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets and at U.S. restaurants. Then you earn one point per dollar on everything else. Additionally, if you spend $2,000 on the card within the first three months of opening, you can earn 25,000 bonus points.
There are no balance transfer fees or an APR unique to balance transfers with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
Rates and Fees
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases
APR for Balance Transfers
APR for Cash Advances
Penalty APR and When It Applies
How to Avoid Paying Interest on Purchases
Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.
Balance Transfer: N/A
Cash Advance: N/A
Foreign Purchase: None
Late Payment: Up to $38
Returned Payment: Up to $38
See all Rates and Fees
How it Stacks Up
With so many benefits, it might be difficult to see how another card might be better than the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. But let’s take a look at your other options.
In terms of travel rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card tends to be a popular choice. With this card, you earn an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. These points do not expire, so you can always redeem them for travel expenses, including rental cars and baggage fees. These expenses do not limit you to specific websites, companies or blackout dates. Nor is there a foreign transaction fee. You can also earn 20,000 online bonus points if you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days.If you’re already a BoA customer, you can earn an additional 10% points on every purchase made with the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, or 25% - 75% if you are a Preferred Rewards client. Amazingly, the card and its rewards do not come with an annual fee, unlike the above American Express card.
Another good card for travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might give you the most bang for your buck. Right at the start, you can earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards® program points for spending $4,000 in the first three months. The annual fee of $95 also has an introductory rate of $0 for the first year. You can earn one point per dollar spent, with double points on travel and restaurant purchases. You get 25% more value when you book your travel plans through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. To even further your rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows you to transfer your points to travel partners’ loyalty programs like Marriott Rewards®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, United MileagePlus® and more. These flexible rewards allow you and your spending to be a little more versatile. You’re also not beholden to a massive annual fee.
The Bottom Line
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express provides seemingly never-ending rewards for frequent travelers. After earning points on both travel and everyday expenses, you can redeem those points for great deals on travel, gift cards and other merchandise. American Express Travel furthers your access to travel deals, as does the Hotel Collection and travel program partnerships.
Don’t forget that these benefits do come at a price of $195 per year, with the exception of the first year. Your balance must be always paid in full each month, too, unless you qualify for Amex’s Pay Over Time features. Paying in full each month means that there are no interest charges, but you must be ready to fork over a nice sum if you’re using the card often.
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